NY Rangers vs. Canadiens
Bell Centre – Feb.23/2013 – 7:20pm
Canadiens Notes –
…..The Canadiens are in a three-way tie atop the Eastern conference standings with the Pittsburgh and New Jersey. Meanwhile the Boston Bruins are just 2 points back with 3 games in hand. Toronto and Ottawa are both tied with the Bruins in points.
….Going back to the beginning of the 2009-2010 season the Canadiens have beaten the Rangers ten of the last thirteen meetings and outscored them 44-28. The three losses came at Madison Square Garden. At the Bell Centre over that span the Caaadiens have won six straight outscoring the Rangers 24-7.
…..The Canadiens have a seven game home-ice winning streak over the Rangers and are 8-0-1 over the last nine at the Bell Centre.
…..The Rangers have been shut out three of their last five visits to the Bell Centre. In those five games the Canadiens out scored the Rangers 20-3.
….It’s been almost four years since the Rangers won in Montreal (March 17,2009 4-3 in a shootout). Chris Drury scored the shootout game-winner. Bob Gainey was in his fourth game as coach after dismissing Guy Carbonneau eight days before. It was John Tortorella’s 10th game behind the Rangers bench after taking over from fired Tom Renney.
…..They Rangers last won in regulation time at the Bell Centre on a Super Bowl Sunday afternoon game February 3rd 2008. The only players in the current Canadiens dressing room who have memories of that game are Plekanec, Gorges , Markov and Francis Bouillon. Cristobal Huet was in goal for the Canadiens. Later on that night in Super Bowl XLII the New York Giants ruined the New England Patriots perfect season when Plaxico Burress caught Eli Manning’s touchdown pass with 35 seconds remaining for a 17-13 win.
….Brendan Gallagher is expected to return to the lineup after missing three games with a concussion.
….The Canadiens’ penalty killers have been on the ice 78 times this season. Only Philadelphia with 81 has had to deal with shorthanded situations more often. Montreal has averaged 18.0 minutes in penalties per game, second in the NHL to Toronto’s 18.1.
…..The Canadiens power play was 1-for-4 against the Islanders Thursday but they have only two goals in their last 26 advantages (7%) after scoring 13 in the season’s first 56 opportunities (23%).
…..Still the Canadiens special teams are nearly a wash. The Canadiens have scored 15 on the power play while giving up 14 while shorthanded.
…..The Habs are 7-0-1 when leading at the end of the first period. When the Canadiens open the scoring they have won 9 of 17 games. In the league, only Pittsburgh,with 10 wins, has a better record.
…..Montreal has allowed five shots in the first period in each of its last three games.
…..Three times the Canadiens have lost games after holding a lead going into the third period, once in regulation time (Boston) and twice in overtime (Buffalo and the NY Islanders)
…..Montreal has 15 points at home this season (7-3-1) ranking them second in the league.
…..The Canadiens are 9-0-1 in games outside the Northeast Division. The only blemish is the overtime loss to the Islanders Thursday.
From The Rangers –
….Heeding Henrik Lundqvist‘s difficulties at the Bell Centre the last four seasons (see below), John Tortorella has elected to go with Martin Biron in goal. Biron will make his third appearance of the season, one of them in relief of Henrik Lundqvist. He is 1-0-1 with a 2.31GAA, and a save % of .928. It will be his 29th career appearance against the Canadiens.. He’s faced Montreal 29 times overall in his career.
….The Rangers have at least a point in ten of their last 14 games (8-4-2). However they are losers of two in a row and three of four games since a three-game winning streak from Feb. 7-12. New York hasn’t lost three in a row since an 0-3-0 stretch from March 6-9 of last season.
……..The Rangers have blown a lead in four of their last five games including the Canadiens on Tuesday when they scored the game’s opening goal.
…..The last time the Rangers shut out the Canadiens in Montreal was prior to expansion, February 25, 1967. Ed Giacomin 5-0.
.….Rick Nash will miss his third straight game. The Rangers refuse to discuss the injury leading some to speculate it’s a Milan Lucic induced concussion, but that seems unlikely considering Nash played two games after the hit before sitting out the Canadiens game Tuesday. Nash has also had some groin problems this year, which seems a more logical explanation.
…The Rangers have placed Nash on IR retroactively so they can place 20 year old RW Christian Thomas on their roster. Whether the 5’9″ Thomas plays against the Canadiens will be a gametime decision. At Hartford had 10 points in his last 12 games.
… Defenceman Michael Del Zotto also is a doubtful starter with what looks like a hip injury suffered in Ottawa. Steve Eminger has re-called from the Rangers Hartford farm club to replace him.
….The Rangers have one win in their last four games and dropped their last two. After losing to the Canadiens on Tuesday they suffered a shootout loss in Ottawa Thursday.
….The Rangers have successfully killed off 17 of the last 18 opposition power play opportunities.
….New York’s power play is 30th in the league – (7/59, 11.9%) They are 28th on the road (2/24, 8.3%)
….Struggling centre Brad Richards found himself on the bench in the third period of Thursday’s loss in Ottawa just one week after coach John Tortorella sat him down for all but one third period shift during the home ice loss to the Islanders.
…. New York is tied for 24th in the NHL with a 2-3-1 record on the road.
….Rookie J.T. Miller scored two goals in his debut Feb. 7. At 19 years, 330 days, he is the youngest Ranger to tally multiple goals in a single game since Alex Kovalev posted a hat trick on Dec. 27, 1992, at the age of 19 years, 307 days.
….Henrik Lundvist has lost four straight starts in Montreal and, in his last nine starts against the Canadiens he is 3-6-0. In his 26 career appearances against Montreal he is 13-10-2,
….That said…… Lundqvist — is 7-4-1 with a 1.98 GAA and a .927 Save% in his last 12 games. He has held opponents to two goals or less in eight of his last 11 games (6-4-1, 1.89 GAA, .930 save %)
Team Records – Rangers (8-6-2) 8th in Eastern Conference; third Atlantic Division. Canadiens (11-4-2) First in Eastern Conference and Northeast Division.
Last Ten Games- New York 5-3-2, Montreal 6-2-2.
Season Series – Second of three meetings. Tuesday the Canadiens won 3-1 at Madison Square Garden.
Home/Road – Rangers on the Road (2-3-1) Canadiens at Home (7-3-1)
Goaltending – Rangers- Martin Biron – 3 appearances- (1-0-1) 2.31GAA, .928 save %. Canadiens- Carey Price 14GP (9-3-1) 2.12GAA .919save%.
Special Teams – Power Play – Rangers rank 30th 7/59 11.9% Canadiens rank 12th 15/82 18.3%. Penalty Killing – Rangers rank 9th 10/60 83.3% Canadiens rank 17th 14/78 82.0%.
Who’s Hot: Rangers - Derek Stepan has points in three straight games and has four points in his last five games. Canadiens – Max Pacioretty has goals in three straight games and has four plus three assists in his last four. David Desharnais has a goal and four assists in his last four.
Injuries- Rangers – Rick Nash (undisclosed); D-Michael Del Zotto (suspected hip); RW-Arron Asham (undisclosed); C-Daroll Powe (IR-concussion);D-Michael Sauer (IR-post concussion syndrome). Canadiens – C-Petteri Nokelainen (IR-back)